What to see and do in London

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Emilie Filou

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What to see in London

Voted the fifth most exciting city in the world by Time Out magazine in 2017, London is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Whether it's your first visit or not, remember that in London it's not just the major monuments you should visit. Sure, the Big Bang and Buckingham Palace are must-sees in the city, but there are plenty of other attractions to discover as well.

Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery of London

If we were looking for the navel of the world in London, we would definitely find it in Trafalgar Square, the first thing to see in London. From the majestic square depart the main arteries of the city: The Mall, the avenue that leads to Buckingham Palace, The Strand, which leads to the City, and Whitehall, which leads to the House of Parliament.

Named after the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the Spanish and French fleets during the Napoleonic Wars in 1805, the square was originally the site of King's Mews, the royal stables.

Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard in London

From Trafalgar Square, walking along the Mall and passing under the majestic Admiralty Arch, we arrive at Buckingham Palace, another must-see during a visit to London : the residence of the English monarchy, built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham, and only later bought by George III, who made it his residence and that of the royal family.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London

An exceptional example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is a majestic 1200-room building which houses the two chambers of the English Parliament: the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Crisscrossing the length and breadth of 3 km of corridors , the gigantic structure hides an underground labyrinth and it is said that George Orwell was inspired by these dungeons to describe the " Miniver ", the Ministry of Truth in London, in his visionary novel " 1984 ". "

St. Paul's Cathedral in London

The current St. Paul's Cathedral rose from the ashes of the cathedral that was destroyed in the tragic Fire of London in 1656. This marvel of English Baroque is the result of a double deception: the English clergy rejected the initial project of the architect Christopher Wren, with that too Catholic and Romanesque dome, in favour of a more traditionally English bell tower, all spires and aisles.
But in 1710, after 35 years of work, London found its cathedral with the dome, which in reality is pure illusion: there are 3 domes .

Tate Gallery in London

The Millennium Bridge was built in axis with Saint Paul , a spectacular steel pedestrian bridge that directly connects the north bank of the Thames with the south bank, just in correspondence with the Tate Modern , the art gallery born from the project to expand and divide the Collection of contemporary British art from that of the past located in Tate Britain, and both, along with Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives in Cornwall, are part of the Tate museum complex.

Opened in 2000, the Tate Modern is considered one of the most avant-garde art galleries in the world: a must-see for contemporary art lovers, its rooms represent all art from 1900 to the present day, including works by Picasso.

British Museum in London

From contemporary art to the origins of our history: a unique experience that only a visit to the British Museum, the oldest public museum in the world, can offer. A journey through the centuries to discover the most beautiful and ancient treasures in the world, among eight million objects that tell the story of mankind, from the first stone carvings of the prehistoric era to the first coins, from hieroglyphics to ancient Chinese ceramics, to the paintings of the 20th century.

Tower of London

Declared a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO and with over 1000 years of history, the Tower of London is another must-see in London. A monumental complex of towers, buildings and courtyards surrounded by high walls erected in 1078 along the Thames to protect the Normans from raiding citizens and outside invaders.

Tower Bridge in London

From the ancient medieval fortress to the world's most famous drawbridge, Tower Bridge , literally "tower bridge", which connects the Southwark area to the Tower of London. It may not be as old as the tower from which it takes its name and it doesn't boast macabre tales of imprisonment, executions or even guards in period costume guarding the perimeter, but for fans of unusual and breathtaking views, a visit to Tower Bridge and the evocative glass walkway that connects the structure's two neo-Gothic towers 42 metres above the waters of the Thames is a must.

What to do in London

So far we have explained what you can see in this wonderful destination and its surroundings in terms of tourism and culture. If you are more adventurous and want to live unique experiences, don't worry, London is the perfect place.

  • Eat Fish and Chips: If you look around, you'll soon see street vendors on every corner relentlessly frying up street snacks: onion rings and the infamous fish and chips.
  • Visit the British Museum: With over 5 million visitors a year, the British Museum is by far the top tourist destination in London. The history of this museum dates back to the mid-18th century when naturalist Sir Hans Sloane gave his collection of plants and other artifacts to the British crown in exchange for £20,000.
  • Ride the London Eye: Unless you suffer from vertigo, a ride on the London Eye, until a few years ago the largest Ferris wheel in the world (second only to the one in Las Vegas), is one of the things you must do once in London.
  • Stroll through Hyde Park: London's public parks are everywhere. From a historical point of view, the credit goes to the Royal Family who have always used these huge green spaces not only as a private hunting ground, but also for duels, executions and horse races.
  • Sit back and admire the view at night: The Sky Garden with its large windows is the perfect place to enjoy the view of London from above. Don't forget to book your free admission in advance.
  • Breakfast out: If getting out of bed in the morning is always a trauma, Cereal Killer Cafe can give you the right motivation. Go and try the 120 different types of cereal at one of the two shops in town.
  • Enter the world of Banksy: Shoreditch is the perfect neighbourhood for street art lovers. Here you can find some of Banksy's work. Don't hesitate to try one of the restaurants or bars in the area and don't forget to add this stop to your list of things to do in London.
  • Discover the underground art: If you can find your way in, the Leake Street Tunnel will blow your mind. Its walls are completely submerged in graffiti. You can admire these true masterpieces near Waterloo station.

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